Creating music has shaped and enhanced my life experience from a young age. The soundtrack to my life includes compositions from a wide variety of genres, including “my” music, and music that has come through me. One of my greatest joys in life is learning to play an instrument well enough to create original music, and to use it as a means of bringing joy to others.

Voice – My vocal mentor, Terry McCombs (d. 2008), proved to me that the most plain expression of one’s identity is found in the singing of a pure melodic line. I feel more myself when I sing from the heart than possibly at any other time. It is impossible to accurately describe the depth of impact my voice has had on what I have experienced and who I am becoming. I’m not an excellent singer, yet I cannot refrain from singing. I express my self – my passions, my ideas, my faith, my personality – through my voice, in song. The poetry and music I have composed find completion when expressed through singing.

Djembe – When on tour with a modern dance company I attended a master class where the accompanist was playing a djembe drum. As we danced I was impressed with the dynamic voice of the djembe, and the power with which the djembefola moved us with his rhythm. Within days I had traded a pile of my handmade didgeridoos for my first djembe drum. Little did I know that the djembe would call me, time and again, to new frontiers that would richly bless my life and many others.

Piano – As I learned to play the piano as a youngster, I discovered that I liked creating my own music far more than mastering others’. I’ve written hundreds of simple piano compositions that express my emotions or satisfy a need to solve a melodic or rhythmic “challenge”. Many of these pieces were encountered while playing the piano for my children at bed time, intended to train the ear, and to model healthy, original creative expression. I fondly refer to this collection as “Charlie’s Bedtime Lullabies”. One day I hope to record our favorites as a keep-sake, and to share with those I love.

Acoustic Guitar – I’m a self-taught rhythm guitar hack. My technique isn’t great, but it is good enough to allow me enough freedom in artistic exploration. The alternative folk-rock songs I’ve written are vehicles for carrying a message that has at one time been a personal expressions of love, pain, faith, or fear. My repertoire spans two decades and captures a portion of the common human experience.

Violin & Fiddle  – Classical training in the Suzuki method lasted ten years, intermingled with participation in the Idaho Old Time Fiddlers Association and various small string ensembles. After not playing for more than a decade, I’m finding renewed pleasure in reviewing classical pieces and fiddle tunes, and playing duets with my son and daughter who are learning to play.